Anna Shcherbakova - Ch#1 video interview with Russian National Champion

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
Anna Shcherbakova - Ch#1 video interview with Russian National Champion.

video starts with the announcement that she is a current Russian National Champion and the ceremony.

Anna was happy with her performance. But was very nervous for her team mates (girls in her club). They all skate together and she knows how hard they work. She did not expect to win, but wanted to.

Started skating when she was 3.5 years old. Her older sister was skating already, and their mother brought Anna a pair of skates and told her to try to skate.

When she first stepped on the ice, she did not want anyone to help and hold her. She thought skating was easy and she does not need help. But on the next step she fell, and realized that it is not as easy as it looks.

The critical point was when her family decided to transfer to Tutberidze’s group. Prior to that Anna skated as a hobby. But once Anna realized how much she loves skating, they decided to pursue skating seriously and it became a professional activity.

Early in the morning she goes to school, to take one or two courses. During breaks she looks for her teachers, to turn in homework and to take the next assignment (for other courses). The teachers are very helpful, in every way.

Then I go to the rink, for gym work or choreography. Then ice time, then stretching. Then break time, either used for school work with tutors or free time on weekends.

Then back to training, either gym work or dance lessons, then ice again, then cool-off time, then back home, to either do homework with tutors, or free time if weekend. I am tired in the evenings, but I got used to it.

My mother helps me with everything, in general. Father helps me with Physics courses. He is very good in Physics, and helps when I miss the class and have to study the subject at home. Physics are hard to learn by on your own.

I like biology (anatomy). This year we had to learn the structure of human body, it is interesting to learn how complex the human organism is. On your own body you learn how “it all feels” and in classes they teach you how “it all works”… and then you know why “it hurts”.

My mother comes with me to all competitions, but she is so nervous that she never stays (in the arena) to watch me skate. I do call her with results, but often she already knows them.

It took her a while to learn all the jumps, but now she knows them. She actually knows all elements now, but does not try to coach me. That’s good, because I have a coach.

I communicate a lot with other girls in our group. We talk mostly about skating, but also about the news and other stuff. We’re all the same age, have a lot in common, we even talk about school stuff, passing exams, etc. And no we don’t really talk about the boys, well, rarely.

We treat each other as if we were friends. We don’t let “which one is better” to get in the way.

Last summer I visited Japan for the first time. Figure Skating is popular there. People recognized me on the streets.

I now own two Kimonos, one is Yukata, the summer one. Kimonos are not simple. A lot of details go into it, and put on the belt. It is a very complicated structure. You stand and it takes 10 minutes to finish the process. I would not be able to put it on alone.

Japanese are so friendly and they gave us so many gifts. After each show we left the rink with large bags which they would help us carry.

It is all so kind. They make things for you with their own hands, arrange photographs, draw pictures, make post cards, someone even made a whole album with sections about my family, my short programmes, my free skates. It’s all decorated with stickers, cut outs, so nice, I really enjoy it.

We usually return to the hotel very late, but it takes me about 3 more hours to unpack all the gifts, to lay them out, to take photos, so that everyone can see their own gift and that I received it. People write to me that they are happy to see their gift in my hands.

I now bring 3 extra suitcases when travelling to the shows, just for gifts. Every skater loves Japan. It is a special place. I always wanted to visit it.

I look forward to vacations, but then wish I was not away so long, because getting back into shape is harder; relearning the edgework, the jumps, the spins make your head dizzy. Muscle memory is sort. You think you “remember it all”, but then after a first jump you realize that you don’t. But the fear is not there, because you know that day to day, year after year you were able to do it.

(inside her hotel room). This is our room. This my bed, and this is Kamila’s (Valieva). We (skaters) sometimes get together, watch films, play cards, poker. A boy who was with us once taught us how to gamble for pencils.

When I am bored I tried to knit, I asked mother to buy me knitting set so I can knit a toy.

She shows some things she has with her, a Japanese toy, some cosmetics which she rarely uses, a book “Perfume” which she read (the video is showing a long segment of her practicing the choreography with Daniil and Eteri).

She is now practicing her quads more and more. “We girls now realized that these jumps are not something unattainable, more and more starting to do them. Even before it became more popular many coaches began to think about it. It’s not out of reach, not unusual, more of norm now.

The coaches believed we can do them. We worked hard, first starting with solid triples. Then we tried it on the fish-pole. That’s the most critical part, you have an opportunity to actually feel the jump on ice, but you have a safeguard, the pole can lift you, give you a direction. Then at one point the coach will tell you that you did it yourself, he did not have to do a thing to assist. Then you do it on your own, with confidence. You get used to it.

It’s like this. First you think it is hard, then do it on a pole, then start on your own and think it is difficult. But then once you do it long enough, you see that everything is possible.

When you start learning a new jump, you must think of every little detail and element, the leg, the hand, the turn. Once you do this jump for a long time, sometimes you don’t even think about it, you can think of something irrelevant, and still do it.

There are triples already that I don’t have to think about, it is automatic. With quads I have to process every element, the speed, the motions.

Quad is a different jump than a triple. Feels differently when doing it. After the skate I review the tape, to see how it looks visually, because how it looks and how it feels can be different.

Sometimes you think you did it perfectly, then look at the tape and see that it is off or crocked. Or in reverse, you think it was not right, but on video it looks good. You can see little details, little faults.

It is sometimes strange to hear when someone says “when you did your entry, I knew you won’t make the jump”. It is understandable if your coach says it, he/she knows you. But when an outside person says it, it is odd, how can he know, and I did not until the last second… I thought I was going into it just fine, and someone already knew it was not..

When she broke her leg she did not know/feel it was broken. Something snapped, but she did not realize it was a break. It was quite an experience, it was not easy. It was just the beginning of that season, she had plans and competitions lined up.

“You suddenly understand that if you make one clumsy move, this is what happens. It was not pleasant, at the time it happened, but more so wondering how long it takes to recover, being inactive, waiting, getting bored. The recovery process is complicated too. Everybody helped, my parents did a lot. It was some kind of recovery process, you think you’re back on ice and this is it, but it takes a while.

(video segment on how her dress is made/transformation elements)

This season is different, I am entering Seniors. I am concentrating on what I have to do to make myself competitive, what to work on, what to improve.

We girls all know what the other can do, and none of us wants to lag behind. That means I have to do what I must to stay competitive. But it does not mean that I have to start getting “rough and tough” with other girls.

Staying competitive on ice is one thing, but in life you need to be true to yourself, stay who you are. On ice you need to know that it is a sport, that you have a goal. You need to learn to separate the ice and yourself in real life.

When I started I though all this work is to win some kind of a medal, and I did enjoy the whole process. But now it is more pinpointed, the goals, the competitions, it’s not just for fun. You have now responsibilities, you think if you want to win you need to work hard, you want something new… but still, I am doing it all because I enjoy it.

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Well-Known Member
Thank you for translating that. I’m so looking forward to seeing how all of these Russian ladies develop. They’re all so amazing.

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
As an animal lover, i can't resist to post this page from Anna's IG.
She adopted one of the homeless kittens (which Zagitova and Trusova were trying to find homes for).
The kitten did not want to let Anna leave for Las Vegas, and kept crawling into her suit-case. 4 fotos.... :cat:


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